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Pokémon Go inventor Niantic works with Qualcomm on AR glasses

Qualcomm has just announced a new platform for virtual and augmented reality and is working with Niantic – the company developing games such as Ingress and Pokémon Go for a reference design for smart eyewear Has. The Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform is an evolution of the earlier XR1 platform and, like its predecessor, designed specifically for AR and VR hardware. It now supports 5G connectivity, as well as voice-based interaction, eye-tracking and passthrough camera features.

Qualcomm's XR2 is a major enhancement to the XR1

. It provides screen resolutions of up to 3K per eye at 90 frames per second, as well as 360-degree video playback at 8K resolution at 60 frames per second. It also supports up to seven cameras simultaneously, which can be used for traditional head tracking, but also for rarer options such as eye and facial tracking. And it allows options such as real-time translation and object recognition.

Five nameless vendors are working with Qualcomm on XR2-based hardware, and according to Qualcomm XR head Hugo Swart, products with this platform should be released in the second edition. However, Qualcomm did not publish the names of those vendors, and there are none complete reference design. CNET previewed an early XR2 hardware prototype, but did not yet support face tracking or the through-camera, but only basic features such as a high-resolution screen.

Niantic also offered limited details about its work. However, it confirmed the existence of a "multi-year collaboration for an integrated design that spans AR eyewear, reference hardware, software, and cloud components." The results become members of Niantic Creator program for location-based eyewear provided. based and AR app developers.

Qualcomm's chips already support headsets such as HoloLens from Microsoft; The recently released HoloLens 2 uses the Snapdragon 850 chip instead of the VR / AR-specific XR1, as originally rumored. In general, augmented reality has been slow to develop and is particularly useful for specialized corporate hardware rather than consumer goods. Qualcomm's XR2 announcement pointed to mainstream applications, which apparently include your child wearing smart glasses at the dining table. This is still not a very likely scenario, but Niantic's involvement suggests a real commitment to this idea, as it is one of the few companies to have a real breakout AR game (albeit by phone AR) developed.

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